News & Analysis

  1. burnett

    David Letterman and the long, Internet-enabled decline of the nightly talk show

    Every once in a while we like to throw a PandoMonthly curve ball. A fascinating guest who entrepreneurs can learn from but who you probably weren’t expecting to see on a Pando stage. One of the first of those curveballs– and still one of my favorite PandoMonthlys– was a fireside chat with Rob Burnett, executive producer of David Letterman’s production company, WorldWide Pants. I’d gotten to know Burnett because he was promoting a new film, made and distributed using tons of technology that’s democratized…
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  3. hackers-no-hacking

    The US wants to restrict exports of software vulnerabilities. But is that such a good idea?

    Researchers are concerned about a United States Commerce Department plan to treat software vulnerabilities like “dual-use” items that could be weaponized. Reuters reports that the department’s plan, which follows a 2013 agreement to regulate similar software, would make it illegal to share software vulnerabilities outside specific nations that signed the Wassennar Agreement two years ago. (41 nations, including the US and its intelligence allies, signed that agreement.) Many agree that sharing knowledge about software vulnerabilities with the wrong people…
  4. boston_city

    MassChallenge is quietly growing into one of the most influential forces for global entrepreneurship

    Through a maze of hallways, each indistinguishable from the next, in the still very under-construction and hard to find HULT International School of Business on the Boston-Cambridge line, the world’s largest startup accelerator, MassChallenge, held the official welcoming ceremony yesterday afternoon for the 128 startups that will be joining its four-month bootcamp for early stage companies. It was an appropriate setting for the organization that may be Boston’s greatest contribution to the U.S. startup ecosystem, and yet gets overlooked in…
  5. facebook-newsfeed-changes

    How health site “The Mighty” thinks it can build the next big content platform without selling its soul to Facebook

    When Mike Porath’s daughter was diagnosed with a chromosome disorder that includes autism and other challenges, he spent a lot of time on WebMD. “But WebMD didn’t cover the day-to-day challenges and the emotional side,” said Porath. There was no digital equivalent, he felt, to the indispensable routine of talking to other families that are going through the same thing. And so with a CV that includes being editor-in-chief at AOL, an executive at SpinMedia, and a journalist for the New York Times…
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  7. elsewhere

    Cisco reportedly altered Russia sales records

    BuzzFeed reports that Cisco altered its sales records after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia preventing it from selling Internet equipment to the country’s military or security forces. The report claims that Cisco was even able to sell equipment to the FSB; executives at the company have “vehemently denied” allegations that they tried to evade any sanctions. [Source: BuzzFeed]
  8. snowden-nsa

    Snowden documents show spy agencies exploiting issues with China’s most popular browser

    New reports from CBC News and the Intercept show that intelligence agencies in Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand exploited vulnerabilities in Alibaba’s UC Browser to surveil 500 million people. The agencies also planned to use various app stores to distribute their spyware. The reports indicate that UC Browser offered up all kinds of information about its users. This is notable because it’s the most popular Web browser in China and…
  9. Overheard

    “I don’t particularly think that the existing computer science curriculum has been effective for anybody. It needs to be situated in a real-world or meaningful context so people understand why they’re doing it. That doesn’t make it less rigorous — students learn the same things, but in a different way.”

    — National Center for Women & Information Technology co-founder Lucy Sanders

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  11. elsewhere

    Apple Maps will finally support public transit

    The lack of information about subways, trains, and buses is one of the key problems with Apple’s navigation service, but a report claims that this data will finally be available in the tool when iOS 9 ships this year. [Source: 9to5Mac]
  12. press-release

    Shopify jumps on NYSE

    Shopify’s share price rose as much as 69 percent in opening trading on the New York Stock Exchange this morning. The price was originally set at $17; the company is said to have raised around $131 million. [Source: Reuters]
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    Pew: Most Americans don’t trust private companies or government agencies with their data

    Pew reports that a majority of Americans (roughly 65 percent) believe there are inadequate restrictions on government data collection. Many others have also complained about the amount of data held by online advertisers, social sites, video streaming services, search companies, and other online service providers. The findings are the result of a survey of 498 adults conducted in 2014. Pew estimates that its margin of error is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points. In many cases, this still means a…
  15. unicorn-

    Stripe looking to raise up to $500M

    Stripe, the digital payments company, is reportedly looking to raise a new round of funding of up to $500 million. This round might also value the company at $5 billion, which makes it too much to be a unicorn, but too little to be a decacorn… how many other types of corn are there? [Source: TechCrunch]
  16. strictly-business

    Delta spurns travel startups

    Delta has reportedly prevented several travel startups from obtaining information about its flights as part of an effort to “restrict how—and whether—sites can use their fare and schedule data.” The affected startups are Hipmunk, TripAdvisor, and CheapOair. [Source: The Wall Street Journal]
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  18. mad-men-tech-industry

    “Mad Men Integrated” imagines Don Draper as a millennial social media marketer. And it doesn’t suck!

    Here at Pando, we’re big fans of Mad Men — or at least I am, to such an extent that I ranked and recapped all 92 episodes the other day. But you know what’s (usually) the worst? Social media accounts and sites that imagine the plots of beloved television shows as if they were made in “modern” times. They aren’t categorically bad, but the formulaic nature of the concept enables lazy joke-telling. The most popular of these, Twitter’s “Modern Seinfeld,” is most…
  19. silicon-valley-dinesh-and-gilfoyle

    As the douchebags start piling up in HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” maybe Erlich isn’t so bad?

    Forgive the lateness of this: I’ve been stuck at Sterling Cooper writing 19,000 words about the Mad Men series finale and all 91 other episodesSilicon Valley isn’t anywhere near the same level as Mad Men in terms of documenting the emotional contours of a workplace. Nevertheless, “Homicide,” this second season’s sixth episode, touches on a number of salient issues facing workers in the new tech economy — and most fascinatingly, accurately paints the Valley as just as ruthless, cutthroat, and “douchey” as any industry where people stand…
  20. demand

    Walking with Disruptors: I crashed yesterday’s big sharing economy conference in SF

    Yesterday, in a windowless, former “Italian men’s club” in San Francisco’s North Beach, flanked by strip clubs on all sides, the “On Demand Conference” was held to address the surging on-demand economy. All our favorite, “established” on-demand services companies sent reps, from Lyft and Uber to Postmates. Also present were the next wave of companies, tackling food-delivery and valet and shipping and laundry and all the other supposedly excruciating aspects of adult life. There were thought-leaders and journalists and would-be entrepreneurs. For some reason Pando was…
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